Question for you: Do you tally your weekly running mileage? When I first started running I didn’t even know that weekly mileage was even a thing — I didn’t have a Garmin and didn’t keep track of my miles. Overall this “ignorance is bliss” strategy (or lack thereof) worked pretty well for the first few years of my running career. I ran a handful of half marathons and even my first full marathon in 2009. I was barely ever injured and finished all of my races with decent results!
Flashback to my second half marathon in 2008 (and yes those are the same purple shorts that I’m wearing in the photo above… is 8 years an abnormally long lifespan for running shorts?):
In 2012 I finally decided that I wanted to get faster and smarter about running so I bought my first Garmin and got a coach. And one of the things he had me to do was record my weekly mileage.What a grand idea! As I became more aware of how much I was running, I started to see how weekly total mileage can impact your performance. And I’m not talking so much about how more miles = better performance. In fact, for me, it was more about fewer miles that varied more in pace. For example, some days I would run 6-7 miles easy but then track days I would only run 3-4 miles at a very fast pace. And the track days were a LOT tougher than the easy days!I’ve continued to track my weekly mileage since then, especially during the months leading up to a race. I don’t monitor my mileage too closely during the “off season” (or the “off year” of 2016 ) but during training times I keep a close eye on my total mileage.
Over the years I’ve found that my “sweet spot” for weekly mileage when marathon training is 30-40 miles during an average week, 50-55 miles during peak weeks, and 25-30 miles during recovery/taper weeks. And yes I’m using the phrase “sweet spot” as an excuse to bring up that time we made homemade donuts…Anyways. I’ve gone much higher than 55 miles/week in the past (maxing out at 75 miles in one week, which might have been the most exhausting week of my life) and found myself burned out and injured quickly! My body just doesn’t respond well to that type of running — but I know other runners that easily conquer 90+ mile weeks and love it.I frequently get asked about my weekly mileage and am often curious about other runners’ weekly mileage, too. Do you track your weekly mileage, and if so, what’s your “sweet spot” for total weekly mileage during a training season?